Illness, stress, family problems…There are many problems that cannot be simply solved by medicine or science. However, Vietnamese has found a way to cure them all by the Len Dong, a Vietnamese shaman dance.
In the past, this ancient practice used to be banned by French and Vietnamese authorities, but it’s “revived” once again. The Len Dong is truly an incredible ritual, but also “dangerous” in some way. During the ceremonies, practitioners promise to get rid of evil spirits by using music to lure them out, and also pledge to pass on messages from the dead to the living. La Thi Tam, a professional shaman shared “When I’m in service it seems that somebody gets in me, every word I say, every move I make, does not come from me anymore.”
“Len Dong ” rituals Shamans in Vietnam
Practitioners usually fall into a trance, but still can perform a sword dance as if they were attacking invisible ghosts and spirits, on a drums beat, and musicians chants. Usually, dozens of curious onlookers watch with amazement. People can donate to help to cover the costs of a Len Dong performance without having to directly participate.
The place where the Len Dong takes place is always full of offerings and incense sticks, recalling the atmosphere of the Buddhist temples in Southeast Asia. Though there is no scientific evidence of Len Dong’s effectiveness, you may have to spend a significant amount of money to have a performance for your interested. Since restrictions on the practice were lifted, business is booming, and some newly wealthy Vietnamese are willing to pay up to $50,000 for a Len Dong service.